Department of Human, Environmental, and Consumer Resources records

Summary Information

Eastern Michigan University Archives
Eastern Michigan University
Department of Human, Environmental and Consumer Resources records
Date [inclusive]
0.8 Linear feet 2 archive boxes
The Department of Human Environmental and Consumer Resources Records are comprised of administrative files, departmental history, publications, and audio/visual materials from 1984 - 2004 and are arranged in four series that mirror these areas. Materials were generated by the Department of Human Environmental and Consumer Resources.

Preferred Citation note

Please cite materials from the University Archives in the following manner: Item. Collection Title. Eastern Michigan University Archives.

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Administrative History

The Department of Human, Environmental, and Consumer Resources can trace its roots at Eastern Michigan University back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Earliest training in this area was provided by the Department of Manual Training that was established in 1887, "to promote industrial education, to initiate habits of industry and thrift, and to foster all the makes of better living." Annette P. Chase, first teacher in the Domestic Science Department, stated that the 1904-1905 school year would include practical work in bacteriology, cookery, dietetics, serving, marketing, household economics, and art.

In the fall of 1919, the name of the department was once again changed to become the Department of Home Economics. The Department cooperated with the Fine Arts Department, providing courses in Home Economics Design, Costume Design, and Home Decoration. A year later, the curriculum was expanded to include courses Child Care and Welfare, Home Economics for Special Students, and Cafeteria Management.

Growth in student enrollment, activities, programs, and facilities highlight the period of the department’s history from 1923-1943. Jessie E. Richardson, was Department Head from 1921-1922; S. Deborah Harmes, 1922-1923; Florence Lyte, 1923-1925; and Sara T. Murray, 1925-1928. Stability was provided to the administration of the department by Lucy Aiken (who later became Mrs. Charles Elliot), served in this capacity from 1928-1933. Estelle Bauch served as the next Department Head until her retirement in 1953. During this time, the Home Economics Club was formed, with dues of $0.25 per term. The group implemented monthly educational programs and conducted small research studies on comparisons of household products. The Home Management House, Practice House or the Ellen H. Richard House, after the founder of the field, was not only the site of the application of acquired skills, but a place for social activities. The students usually served Sunday dinner to the department faculty. The Home Management House moved from 306 North Normal to 415 Perrin Street in 1938. Each term six senior students, with a department instructor serving as the supervisor, demonstrated their sills in managing the responsibilities of a home.

Susan Burson assumed leadership of the Department of Home Economics upon the resignation of Estelle Bauch in 1953. At this time, Normal College was experiencing an influx of veterans returning from war, and the presence of married students, couples and families increased on campus.

Broadening of the curriculum, with its emphasis on preparation for marriage and family life that began under Miss Burson, continued under the leadership of Mrs. Anita Fielder. From 1962-1963, a two year program was offered that would give full credit on a degree program if the student decided to continue in the field. An announcement was made that chemistry, which had deterred so many young women from enrolling in the program, would no longer be required as a prerequisite for those minoring in Home Economics or enrolling in elective courses.

The late 1960s brought much turmoil to campus, and sharing Welch Hall with the Military Science Department, the Department of Home Economics was a target for student protests and rock projectiles. During this turbulent period, faculty were instructed to kept an additional copy of text books and course materials at home, so they could evacuate their offices on a moment’s notice. 1966-1967 Emphasis was placed on Home Economics as providing a wide variety of professional opportunities. This was demonstrated by implementing a new curriculum option, Home Economics in Business. Late, majors in home economics specializations other than education were establishing in in dietetics, fashion merchandising, interior design, and hospitality management. An extensive offering of courses at the graduate level leading to a Master of Science degree began in 1964. In 1970, the department received its first allocation for graduate assistants with Val Krohn and An Fulton serving in this capacity for the clothing and foods areas.

In the summer of 1977, the Department of Home Economics moved into the newly renovated Roosevelt Hall, with the building dedication and the 75th Anniversary Dinner and Program held March 10, 1978. The new facilities and space in Roosevelt Hall and additional faculty allowed the development of more flexible and varied course offerings by the Home Economics Department.

After over a year of study in 1984, about the concepts and image of the term "home economics", at the local and national level, the faculty of the Department of Home Economics changed the name to the Department of Human, Environmental, and Consumer Resources. It was hoped that this name change would end the era of home economics being known for only "sewing and cooking," and that the new name would emphasize its physical and social science foundations, the business and management aspects, and the intellectual development required for the various professional areas in the broad field of home economics.

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Arrangement note

The physical arrangement of the collection does not mirror the intellectual arrangement of the finding aid's series and sub-series. Files within series are arranged chronologically.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Eastern Michigan University Archives 2011 October 6

Halle Library, Room 310
Ypsilanti, Michigan, 48197

Revision Description

 Addition of materials to an Audio/Visual series 2015 October 29

Conditions Governing Access note

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the the University Archives.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Home economics

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Collection Inventory

Administrative Files 

Box Object

Annual Report 1992-1993 

1 11
Box Folder

Course Descriptions 

1 4
Box Object

Fider Program Evaluation Report 1996-1997 

1 12
Box Folder

HECR Departmental Meeting Minutes 1994-2003 

1 9

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Departmental History 

Box Folder

75th Anniversary (Home Economics) 

1 7

100th Anniversary (Home Economics) 

1 8

History (Home Economics) 

1 6

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Box Folder

Flyers and Pamphlets 

1 3
Box Object

Happenings 1989-1990 

1 10
Box Folder

News Clippings 

1 5

Newsletter Masters 

1 1


1 2

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Box Cassette

Dr. Mary Vielhaber: Professional Identity HEC 300 - Ruby Meis - Professional Perspectives 1987 March 13 

2 1

Carl Christoph: Marketing HEC 300 - Ruby Meis - Professional Perspectives 

2 2

Lynn Arnold: Wellness Beth Vanhoorees: Mentoring/Networking HEC 300 - Ruby Meis - Professional Perspectives 1988 

2 3

Des Harnes: Ethics & Professionalism HEC 300 - Ruby Meis - Professional Perspectives 1987 March 18 

2 4

Panel of Professionals: Dietetics, Interior Design, Consumer Affairs HEC 300 - Ruby Meis - Professional Perspectives 1987 March 27 

2 5

Elaine Found and Erik Pederson: Wellness HEC 300 - Ruby Meis - Professional Perspectives 1988 March 28 

2 6

Loren Estleman HEC 300 - Ruby Meis - Professional Perspectives 

2 7

Stuart White HEC 300 - Ruby Meis - Professional Perspectives 

2 8

Peter Widenhauer HEC 300 - Ruby Meis - Professional Perspectives 

2 9

Food for Health Series: Toni Demilde - Sugar & the Diet Laura Miller - Cardio-Cookery Susan Dossette - Fiber Julie Kolzski - Fiber Karen Ferguson - Low Fat/Low Cholesterol HEC - A. Peel 

2 10

Helen Burnstad HEC 300 - Ruby Meis - Professional Perspectives 1987 February 17 

2 11

Ruth Benedict HEC Lecture - A. Ehrlich 1988 December 9 

2 13

Panel of Ethics: Education Medical Business HEC 479 - Ruby Meis 

2 12

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